Building bridges across language barriers is part of The Place Brand Observer’s mission. Today we present you Jordi de San Eugenio Vela, place branding researcher and Professor at the Department of Communication at Universitat de Vic – University of Central Catalonia.
- The purpose of place branding;
- How long it usually takes to establish a city brand positioning;
- The main challenges in city branding;
- The importance of eccentric buildings and architecture for strong city brands;
- His favorite example of a place branding initiative done particularly well;
- How place branding can be used as a tool for the sustainable (tourism) development of a city, such as Barcelona.
Jordi, you are one of very few scholars with a PhD in place branding (Pompeu Fabra University). Do you remember what (or who) got you interested in the branding of cities, regions and nations?
My PhD is the result of my previous university studies, Geography & Journalism (BA) and Environment Management (MA). Building on these studies, for my PhD proposal I was looking for a topic that combines places, management and communication.
I remember that my PhD supervisors, Mònika and Joan, suggested researching a relatively ‘new field’ called ‘place branding’. Later on, and before I obtained my PhD, I worked on projects such as ‘Territoris Serens’, dedicated to the economic development of a rural place (El Lluçanès) by strengthening its identity, that is, through a place brand. It was a nice experience and the final element in deciding the subject of my doctoral dissertation.